Friday, December 19, 2014

Car Seat Safety Awareness: How to Choose the Right Car Seat

Choosing a car seat is a very important decision you have to make. When they’re born and when they grow out of a particular seat. But choosing the right one at the right time is very tricky. If you’re having trouble, I suggest you take a closer look at a few things. This just might make your decision even easier.

Keep your vehicle in mind
When you’re out shopping, it’s important to keep in mind what vehicle you have. Different seats work for different kinds of cars, so don’t forget that! If you have a small car, you don’t want to get a bulky seat or it may not fit. You don’t want to choose a seat that works best with the LATCH system if you don’t have that in your car.
Just make sure the dimensions fit along with your car nicely so there’s nobody needing to ride in the car with their knees in their chest!

Know what kind of seat you need
Different children need different sized seats throughout their little car seat lifetime. While we all know what each one is, we may not know when they change or how long they stay in the current seat.
Rear facing: As discussed previously, keeping a child in a rear facing seat is very important. You don’t want to turn them around too soon. They should always meat one of the three requirements before turning it around: age, height, and weight. Check the car seat for more specific instructions. Also keep in mind how big you think the child will be. If they’ll be small, get one with a lower start weight. But if they’ll be bigger, get one that has a higher end weight. Be sure that when you switch seats, your child is ready. If not, they could be killed on impact during an accident.
Forward facing: There are many out there that switch it once a child is 12 months and 20 pounds, but it’s very outdated so be sure you follow the correct instructions. Don’t turn them around too early or there will be serious consequences. They stay in forward facing car seats until they outgrow it. If the middle of his ears is above the top of the seat or shoulders are above the top harness level, they’re ready to move on.
Booster: A child will move to the booster and stay in it for quite some time. They’re ready to graduate to an adult seat belt once they've outgrown the booster. If they weigh over 40 pounds, they’re probably ready. This is around age 8, but could happen sooner or later depending on the child.

Check the comfort level
Before choosing a seat, test it out. Check how the handle feels and how heavy it is. You’ll be using this seat a lot and spending a great deal of time lugging it around. You want something light and comfortable for you. But you also want something that is comfy for the child, so don’t choose any fabrics that they won’t be able to breathe through.
Make sure it’s comfy for you both!

See if it works with your stroller
There’s lots of travel systems out there that work quite well together but not everyone will purchase a system. Sometimes it’s necessary to purchase them separately.
But if you already have the stroller, make sure your seat works well with it. It should be secure and your child should be at a reclined angle when locked onto the stroller. This will create good air flow for the child.

Research the history
This is very important to do! Not everyone will purchase it brand new so be sure you check this out. Make sure the seat was never in an accident, isn’t outdated or recalled, and is completely 100% safe.
Find out exactly how safe the seat is. Make sure to do your research before you decide to buy a particular seat. Be smart.

Make sure it’s easy to use
Sometimes, we’re in a hurry so it being difficult to use is going to be a huge problem. Mothers are busy and need something simple. So check it out and make sure installation is simple, it’s easy to lock into the base, the buckles, harnesses and snaps are all very easy to manage. But also make sure it’s not too simple to where your child can also manage using it.

Don’t get something that will cause a damper or you’ll end up spending more money on another seat. None of us want to do that.

What other tips do you have for choosing a car seat?

*This post was written by Amber Kristine. She is a mother of a 2 year old. She blogs at covering topics about raising your kids, running your home, taking care of yourself, loving others, and helping others around you. She hopes to help others and inspire them.*

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